Monthly Archives:June 2018

FRANK Rigby will give his wife of 64 years a flower on Thursdaymorning, but it won’t have anything to do with Valentine’s Day.
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‘‘He gives me a flower every morning,’’ says Beryl Edith Rigby.

‘‘We could be in the middle of the desert and he’ll find me a flower.

‘‘It’s not always a rose but I always get a flower – every morning.’’

So is the romantic Mr Rigby content with making every day feel like Valentine’s Day? Not a chance.

Today, as he has for six decades, the former Newcastle councillor has published a love poem to his wife in the Newcastle Herald.

‘‘She thinks I’m crazy,’’ says the lifelong Stockton resident.

‘‘And I think she’s right.’’

Mr Rigby met his wife, who he affectionately calls ‘‘Beb’’, in 1944 and the pair married five years later.

Mr Rigby said he started writing poetry as a way to share the wild tales he heard while working on the waterfront.

‘‘You’d hear some funny stories down there but you couldn’t tell them anywhere else,’’ he said.

‘‘I just tried to turn them around so you could tell them in mixed company and I’d put them to rhyme.’’

Eventually, he started penning poems for his wife and submitted one to the Herald for the first time in the early 1960s.

As the tradition continued, he soon found his audience growing to beyond his beloved.

‘‘It seemed like half of Newcastle was reading my poems – the paper should’ve been paying me to write them,’’ he said.

Mr Rigby said his wife cuts out the poems each year and adds them to her jewellery box. And she is looking forward to many more poems and years together.

He chalks up the success of their relationship to their special bond.

The couple founded the John Hunter Children’s Hospital charity, The Kids Club, which has since raised more than $3million.

‘‘We have done everything together – everything I did with the council and John Hunter Hospital foundation wasn’t just me, it was the two of us,’’ Mr Rigby said.

Though Mrs Rigby knows what to expect today, she says she always looks forward to his latest work.

But she can’t nominate a favourite poem.

‘‘They’re all beautiful,’’ she said.

LOVING: Frank still gives his beloved a flower every morning. Picture: Simone De Peak

BLISS: Frank and Beryl Rigby on their wedding day 64 years ago.

MOST club captains believe action is needed to improve the standard of Newcastle district cricket, but opinion is divided on how to achieve that.
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The Newcastle District Cricket Association is expected to reveal more details of its proposed eight-team premier league to the 12 clubs in the next two days, after an initial meeting with the presidents on February 4.

While support for the radical change to the competition appears weak among presidents and other powerbrokers, the captains are more open to the possibility.

Merewether have dominated the competition in the past year, winning two-day, 50-over, Twenty20 and SCG Country Cup titles, and vice-captain Troy Goodwin said the premier league was needed.

“It needs to go to eight teams for the good of Newcastle,” Goodwin said.

“If we want to compete in the Twenty20 comp in Sydney next year, cricket in Newcastle has got to strengthen.”

Stockton-Raymond Terrace skipper Nick Foster and University counterpart Josh Emerton are also supporters.

“They really do need to look at the premier league or cutting a couple of teams back, which will in turn make those players go to other first-grade clubs and make them stronger, which is obviously good for the entire comp,” Emerton said.

Almost three years ago, the NDCA proposed cutting the competition to 10 sides before five of the six clubs threatened to form a voting bloc to defeat the plan.

Veteran Charlestown skipper Steve Mace and first-season Wallsend captain Brett Jackson, whose clubs are struggling, both believe standards will rise only through mergers or cutting sides.

Neither supports a premier league.

“I think the competition has to bite the bullet and actually reduce the number of clubs, whether it be us merge with someone, or someone else,” Jackson said.

“I just think there’s definitely too many clubs and obviously not enough quality players in the top grade.

“With this premier league, who’s going to want to play in the second division?”

Jackson, one of the competition’s leading batsmen, said he would likely leave Wallsend if they were relegated, as he aspired to play the best standard of cricket possible.

Mark Littlewood (Belmont), Ben Woolmer (Wests) and Steve Christie (Waratah-Mayfield) are open to change to improve the competition but are unsure about the premier league until more details are released.

Hamwicks captain Kirk Mullard and Toronto skipper Joe Price believe the competition does not need big changes.

“You can’t have some clubs with the best players in the comp playing in the lower leagues, like for instance the rep captain [Littlewood],” Mullard said.

Hamwicks have won the past three minor premierships and lead the competition.

“It’s just evolution; it goes around in a roundabout,” Mullard said.

Mullard said that when he joined in the mid-90s Hamwicks ran eighth or ninth.

“We’ve been very successful, but we’re under no illusion that at some stage the run will come to an end.”

MEDICAL staff at Muswellbrook District Hospital say a plan to solve its emergency department woes by taking over nursing home beds is a ‘‘poor compromise’’.
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The hospital’s medical staff council chair Dr Mark Rikard-Bell tabled a signed letter at the February council meeting from 14 doctors at the hospital.

They totally disagreed with a plan to expand the emergency department into the on-site nursing home.

‘‘The emergency department is not as important as the care of the elderly,’’ Dr Rikard-Bell said.

‘‘We have struggled to keep both for many years and resent being coerced into accepting a poor compromise.’’

The Newcastle Herald reported in September complaints that the hospital’s emergency department was grossly undersized.

Doctors say the emergency department needs an estimated $10million facelift but has only got $4million.

Hunter New England Health wants to remove the 18-bed aged-care unit from the hospital’s ground floor to make way for the new emergency department.

However, it has not found a private aged-care provider, and building a new nursing home would be years away.

In the meantime, it is not accepting new nursing-home residents and its interim plans are to use hospital acute-care beds for the elderly residents.

‘‘This will primarily affect the surgical and cataract lists, once again disadvantaging the elderly,’’ Dr Rikard-Bell said.

‘‘It’s probably the worst emergency department in the state and it’s only an extra $2or $3million to fix it properly.’’

Hunter New England chief executive Michael DiRienzo acknowledged it was a difficult situation but said with the growing Muswellbrook population, the new emergency department would be best on the ground floor.

He said they were in discussions with Little Company of Mary Health Care to take over their nursing home licence and would move residents to elsewhere in the hospital when work starts in October.

‘‘No residents will be forced to leave Muswellbrook,’’ he said.

Dr Rikard-Bell has written to Upper Hunter MP George Souris with his objections.

SANDHURST is shaping as a side that will give opposition backlines plenty of headaches in the Bendigo Football League this year.
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With the addition of Ryan Haythorpe to Ricky Symes, Matt Thornton and Jake Ward, the Dragons will boast four key forward options this year.

Symes (73), Thornton (11) and Ward (22) kicked 106 goals between them last year, while Haythorpe returns to the Dragons after dominating in the Loddon Valley Football League with Mitiamo.

Haythorpe, who kicked 307 goals over the previous four years with Mitiamo, last played with Sandhurst in 2004 – the year the Dragons won their last premiership.

“It looks like we’re going to have a fairly handy forward line, but we’ll obviously have to get the structure right,” Sandhurst coach Shane Meade said yesterday.

“You can’t have three centre half-forwards all playing at once, so there might be a situation where there’s a couple of six-foot-four blokes playing on a wing or across half-back.

“All of those guys, apart from probably Ricky, are mobile and can play anywhere on the ground, so we’ll have some options.

“Getting Ryan back to the club is fantastic, especially as he has played in a winning grand final for us, so that experience is important.

“But also the experience he brings with how much footy he has played is what we need because most of our guys are going to be under the age of 25.

“He wanted to come back to Sandhurst and we’re very happy he has decided to.”

Also joining the Dragons this year are the Shepparton Bears’ duo of Luke O’Sullivan and Andrew O’Connor.

“They are two blokes who can play anywhere. They are about six-foot-two, young and move around well, so they are good gets for us,” Meade said.

“What we’ve wanted to do is have pressure on all spots. So for every key position we’ve got a back-up, which hopefully, will hold us in good stead.”

Other recruits to the Dragons, who were knocked out of the finals in straight sets last year, include ruckman Tim Martin and fellow tall Ben Anderson.

The other key news out of Sandhurst over the off-season has been star midfielder and 2009 Michelsen medallist Lee Coghlan joining the Bendigo Gold.

However, Meade says the Dragons hope to still get enough games out of Coghlan to qualify him for finals, should Sandhurst make the top five.

“He’ll definitely play three or four games for us, then we’ll only need another one or two on top that,” Meade said.

“And then it’ll be a case of hoping he doesn’t over-qualify for Bendigo, which we’re pretty sure he won’t because he has other commitments with university, so I’m pretty confident he’ll be playing finals for us.”

While Coghlan has gone to the Gold, full-back Mal Borchard has retired after more than 200 games with the Dragons, and centre half-back Jake Wilkinson has joined Numurkah.

The Dragons have practice matches on March 9, 16 and 23 against Tatura, who won last year’s Goulburn Valley Football League premiership, Rochester and Montmorency.

“We’re fairly happy with how things are going along at the moment,” said Meade, who has taken over as Dragons coach from Tony Graham.

“We’ve been getting good numbers at training, we’ll have depth in our reserves and our under-18s will be strong again. But it’s only February.”

The Dragons begin their 2013 season on Sunday, April 7, against Eaglehawk at the Queen Elizabeth Oval.

Ryan Haythorpe is back at Sandhurst.

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FRUSTRATED: Residents Peter Davey and Wayne Maher inspect the pothole.JIM ALDERSEYA TEMPORARY fix for a pothole in Woodvale has created further traffic hazards, motorists say.
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Works to patch up the hole on Bendigo-Pyramid Road were carried out last year after the road was identified as being in disrepair in 2011.

Wayne Maher regularly drives along the road and said it had become a concern for cars and motorbikes.

“It’s a massive bump in the road that people are having to swerve around,” he said. “It’s only a matter of time before someone crashes into an oncoming car.”

Mr Maher said the stretch of road near the clay shooting target range was increasingly busy and said motorists were frustrated at “being ignored for so long”.

“It’s been about two and a half years we’ve been trying to get this fixed,” he said.

“We had a big town meeting with police and VicRoads 12 months ago and we raised it then.

“To take them two years is just too long for such a hazard.”

VicRoads regional director Mal Kersting said an inspection was carried out on the pothole before temporary patching works were completed in late 2012.

Permanent repairs have been scheduled before the end of February, Mr Kersting said.

“In the meantime, VicRoads will continue to closely monitor the condition of the road to ensure it is safe for motorists.”

City of Greater Bendigo councillor Peter Cox said the issue should have been addressed earlier.

“Projects have to be weighed up against each other,” he said.

“There’s just not enough funding to go round. But this should have been a matter of priority.”

Mr Kersting said he encouraged road users to notify VicRoads of any hazardous road conditions, 24 hours a day, on 13 11 70.

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LAUNCH: Crime writer Jaye Ford believes her books’ ‘‘exotic locations’’ – Newcastle in particular – attract readers. Picture: Dean OslandTHE city of Newcastle is one of the most talked-about characters in crime author Jaye Ford’s chilling suspense novels about women who survive terrifying assaults.
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‘‘The ‘exotic location’ has been mentioned as one of the reasons that my books have sold in places like Russia and Poland,’’ Ms Ford, a Lake Macquarie resident, said.

‘‘I’ve even had a message from a Sydney reader not so long ago – she’d never been here but she said Newcastle seemed like a scary place to live.’’

Visitors will have the chance to make up their own minds about the city when they attend the inaugural Newcastle Writers Festival, to be held from April 5 to 7.

The three-day event is being organised by Newcastle Herald journalist Rosemarie Milsom with assistance from Hunter Writers Centre director Karen Crofts.

‘‘Why a writers’ festival? Because it’s long overdue and there always has to be a first time,’’ Ms Milsom said at the festival launch on Wednesday.

‘‘Writers’ festivals aren’t just for writers, they’re about the exchange of ideas, provide insight into the creative process and a nirvana for booklovers.

‘‘Newcastle and the Hunter is rich with literary talent.

‘‘Poets are abundant, we have published authors across crime, historical fiction, erotic writing, romance, non-fiction, history, and the short story is alive and well.’’

The festival’s 35 events – including 16 ticketed sessions – will be held across inner-city venues and cover themes of true crime, the sea, women and social media, memoir, sport, history, romance, the price of war, the art of writing and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Guests include much loved British actor and new Australian citizen Miriam Margolyes, Mark Tedeschi QC, Major General John Cantwell, Robert Drewe, David Marr, Ramona Koval, Jane Caro, Richard Fidler, Michael Chamberlain and Stuart Littlemore.

The complete festival program will be published in the Herald on March 9.

Tickets, details newcastlewritersfestival.org.au

THE Launceston women’s cricket team will hold a McGrath Foundation pink stumps day at the NTCA Ground on Sunday.
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The table-topping clash from 4.30pm will be a Twenty20 game featuring the second-placed host against the ladder-leading visitor Ulverstone in the Cricket North West women’s competition.

Entry will be via a gold coin donation and all money raised will go to the McGrath Foundation.

“The team and opposition are turning the cricket match pink, with pink wicketkeeping pads, pink stumps, hats, temporary tattoos, badges and accessories,” Launceston captain Samantha Cotton said.

“We will also be jazzing up the game by playing music when a four or six is scored, or a wicket falls and during the break.

“This day is to help raise awareness of breast cancer, the McGrath Foundation’s breast care nurses and women’s cricket in Northern Tasmania. We would encourage families and friends to watch the game, which they can do from the NTCA Ground stands or on the grassed areas around the ground.”

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FOR the fifth year in a row, Bendigo basketballer Maddy Wild will represent her state when she plays in the Australian Junior Championships in Launceston next week.
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Wild will play for a combined Victoria Country-Metro under-20 women’s team at the championships, which tip off on Sunday.

The 17-year-old centre and forward has been a part of Victorian Country representative teams from under-16 level and will be one of the youngest players in this year’s under-20 squad.

Wild is among a Victorian squad of 10 that was whittled down from 35 who began the try-outs in October, last year.

“The team is shaping up fairly well,” Wild said yesterday.

“We’ve got four girls in the team who have been up at the AIS, so we haven’t been training with them since school went back, so it will be interesting to see how we go early when we’re all in the team together.”

In her four previous trips to the Australian Junior Championships, Wild has finished third three times and eighth.

“Hopefully, this will be a better year,” she said.

Wild plays her club basketball with Generals in the Bendigo Basketball Association, while last year she also played for the Bendigo Lady Braves’ development side.

Among the highlights for Wild this season has been the opportunity to train with Bendigo’s high-flying WNBL team, the Bendigo Spirit.

“It has been an unbelievable experience to have the opportunity to do some training with the Spirit,” Wild said.

“The girls have so much knowledge and want to teach you, so that has been great.

“If you’re doing something wrong they will help you improve… hopefully, one day I can play with them.”

Maddy Wild prepares for the national titles.

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The Cradle Coast Outrigger Canoe Club is hosting its annual regatta tomorrow and over the weekend.
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The fifth annual Cold Water Classic, to be held at Boat Harbour Beach, features 78 events for paddlers from junior to open competitors racing in men’s and women’s single-paddler events (OC1 and V1), men’s, women’s, and mixed doubles (OC2) and the prestigious and super quick six-person canoes (OC6) team events.

The regatta also doubles up this year as the 2012-13 Victoria zone championships, for clubs competing from Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, with host club Cradle Coast keen to defend the Victoria zone title it won in 2011-12.

Club coach Leigh Paine said entries have been received from many interstate clubs and racing will feature many current and former world and Australian champion paddlers.

“We have received entries from all clubs within the Victorian zone including Western Beaches, City of Melbourne, Geelong, Inland Outriggers, Adelaide, Hobart, Van Diemons and Patterson Lakes,” Paine said.

“All clubs within our zone have been training hard, and we are really excited about getting the chance to defend the zone title at our own regatta.”

On top of the entries received from the Victoria zone, Paine said entries had come from Te Nuie Kui and Tweed Coast in NSW, Outrigger Australia Currumbin, Northcliffe, Surfers Paradise, Brisbane, Panamuna, Ballina and Mooloolaba from Queensland.

“Overall we are expecting 150 paddlers from interstate racing in events from 250-metre sprints right through to 15-kilometre marathons,” Paine said.

Officials from the sport’s governing body, Australian Outrigger Canoe Racing Association, will also be attending the regatta for the first time.

Racing action starts tomorrow at 8.30am and ends on Sunday at 3pm.

There is also a beach party organised for Saturday night featuring local act Fuzz. For more information visit www.cradlecoastoutrigger南京夜网.au or contact Grant Howe on 0438 370 931

The Cradle Coast Outrigger Canoe Club will be hosting its annual regatta tomorrow and over the weekend.

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THE ante has been upped for Addy app assignment ‘February Photo Feast’, with a limited edition, red, Samsung Galaxy SIII now up for grabs to the best pic entered via the app.
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At the halfway point of the photo-a-day assignment more than 30 images have been shared with the Bendigo Advertiser.

Nic Bannan from Challenges Accepted said the app was a great way to stay connected to local news.

“I think it’s great,” he said.

“I jump on it every morning and find out what happened overnight. I find it quite good.”

Mr Bannan urged competition entrants to not hold back their creativity, especially with Valentine’s Day here.

“I want (to see) something with a story behind it,” he said. “One that’s a bit interesting, a bit different… The S3 has been designed for humans to use so lets get some emotional photos.”

Today’s photo is Valentine’s Day-themed so don’t forget to send in a pic of someone you love.

For the full list of February Photo Feast items click here.

*Competition note: The limited edition, red Samsung Galaxy SIII, provided by Bendigo Community Telco, will only be awarded to a photo entered via the Bendigo Advertiser iPhone or Android apps.

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